Was foul play involved in the death of an exotic dancer?

Crystal Spencer

She had been dead in her apartment for a week

CASE DETAILS

Neighbors heard screams the night she died

Crystal Lene Spencer was raised in a small northern California town. At 17, she dropped out of high school and took a job to help support the family. In the summer of 1982, she moved to Los Angeles to chase her Hollywood dream. But she soon realized that stardom was not so easy to come by. Crystal reluctantly took a job as an exotic dancer to pay her bills. On a good night, she took home $400 in tips, but she never fully accepted the fact that she was basically a stripper. According to Crystal’s friend, Patti Jo Millhouse, the fact bothered Crystal:

“She would just start crying. Like she felt degraded about herself, of what she’d done.”

In May of 1987, friends invited Crystal to a barbeque. She was eager to socialize with people who might help with her acting career.  It was there that she met Anton Kline:

“There was something very alluring and compelling about Crystal that would readily catch your eye. She knew that she would become, not only an actress, but she’d become a very famous actress, and it was just a matter of time.”

Anton Kline was an aspiring screenwriter and Ph.D. candidate. He and Crystal came from totally different backgrounds, but they soon fell in love. Anton took it upon himself to help Crystal broaden her horizons. Anton says he introduced her to art galleries, museums, and concerts:

“She loved classical music. She loved fine art. She wanted to know more about these other wonderful things of life that she had never been exposed to before.”

The autopsy report contained discrepancies

Anton had no idea that Crystal worked as a stripper. She walked a fine line, discovering art and culture by day, and working Hollywood’s dark side by night. Patti Jo said Crystal did her best to keep her night job a secret:

“Crystal loved Anton very much. She was very scared about him finding out, and she said, ‘Well, I better quit dancing then before he finds out.’”

Finally, four months after they met, Anton says he found out about Crystal’s other life:

“A neighbor saw her dancing at the club by the airport where she worked. And he said, ‘I saw that girl on stage.’  I said, ‘No, you couldn’t have.’  He said, ‘That was her.’  Of course it was her. And I was shocked.”

According to Patti Jo, Anton forgave Crystal:

“He was very upset, but he said it was OK. He accepted it. Which shocked her, and she didn’t know what to say.”

Anton spoke to Crystal shortly before she died

On Wednesday, May 4, 1988, Crystal was home sick with the flu. Anton stopped by and they talked about an offer she had received to work in Japan. The next night, Anton said he spoke the Crystal on the phone and she said she was feeling better:

“The conversation lasted about fifteen minutes. I said, ‘I’ll be in touch’, and she said OK, and I hung up the phone, and that was the last time I ever spoke with her.”

Three days later, Anton tried to reach Crystal by phone, but he kept getting a busy signal.  An operator told him the receiver was off the hook. Anton said he just assumed that Crystal had left for Japan without saying good-bye:

“I was expecting, any day, to receive a very excited phone call from Crystal saying, ‘It’s wonderful here.’ And instead, I got a phone call from the Burbank police department.”

Family and friends were upset with investigators

On Friday, the 13th of May, 1988, police had discovered Crystal’s decomposed body in her apartment. She appeared to have been dead for almost a week. Anton Kline was questioned:

“They at first just said she was found dead at her apartment and they wanted to know when I’d last seen her. And I said I last saw her Wednesday. They asked, ‘And how was she?’  I said, ‘Well, she had a cold.’  And they said they believe she died of natural causes.”

An autopsy revealed no trace of drugs or alcohol in Crystal’s system. There were no obvious signs of foul play or suicide.  The coroner ruled that her death was a result of “undetermined causes.” Deputy District Attorney Robert L. Cohen:

“The body of Miss Spencer was in such an advanced state of decomposition, they were not able to ascribe the cause of death so they have no finding.”

Anton could not believe that Crystal had died of natural causes:

“When I last saw her, she was a young woman with a cold. I was suspicious because of the way I was told the body was found in an obscure corner of her apartment, nude from the waist down. And I learned that neighbors had heard terrible screams coming from her apartment, that someone had described as ‘the sounds of torture.’”

On May 7, three days after Crystal had been at home sick, two of her neighbors, Susan Akin-Taylor and Jet Taylor were woken up around 4 A.M. by a strange crying sound.  According to Susan:

“I laid there thinking, ‘Someone’s being tortured. Someone’s being hurt. Something’s going on.’”

Jet Taylor:

“Susan was very adamant about calling the police, but out of my fear of what I heard, I didn’t want to get involved.”

Susan Akin-Taylor:

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live with the fact that I didn’t call the police. If I had, maybe she would still be alive.”

Crystal’s body was discovered a week after her neighbors heard the screams. They finally told their story to the police. Jet Taylor said the police officer seemed disinterested:

“He just took my statement and my name, asked me for my driver’s license, and that was it. And he was just very nonchalant about it.”

Crystal’s family requested to view the body several times, but the coroner’s office continually refused, claiming the body was in no condition to be seen. Anton was denied access to the police records. However, in September of 1988, four months after Crystal’s death, he was able to obtain the autopsy report. Anton says he was shocked by what he found:

“Crystal Spencer was barely five foot tall. The autopsy report claimed that she was an amazing five foot seven. Crystal weighed approximately 105 pounds.  The autopsy claims the body is a well-nourished, 140 pounds.  I was stunned.  I said, ‘This is the not the body of Crystal Spencer. Where is the real body of Crystal Spencer?’”

Deputy District Attorney Robert L. Cohen:

“We do have the remains identified by fingerprints from two different agencies, and those really eliminate any possibility of the coroner’s autopsying the wrong remains.”

Anton has come to the conclusion that the police know more than they’re admitting:

“I was told by one law enforcement official, ‘Bad things happen to bad girls.’  And I said, ‘You mean, bad girls die of natural causes?’ And he said, ‘You know what I mean’, and hung up the phone on me.”

Two weeks after Crystal’s body was found, family and friends gathered for a private memorial service. Crystal’s ashes were scattered beneath the famous Hollywood sign.  Anton Kline is still searching for the truth:

“I am angered that they are attempting to suppress the police reports in this case forever.  We need to know what happened to her. It’s important to all of us who cared about her to learn the truth. That’s all we want, is the truth.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season five with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis FarinaVarious seasons available now on Hulu.

 

56 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bob

    Seeing as the autopsy was totally bungled, you’re not going to get anywhere further on cause of death which is a shame. They didn’t even properly ID the body by the looks of it. The only way this case goes anywhere is if a witness or informant comes forward.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      jorge

      There is no way to go further, since the Boyfriend immediately 1) had the body cremated and 2) threw the ashes to the winds. Why do you think he did that? No body to reanalyze, no ashes to analyze…no evidence, hence the Perfect Crime!

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Jorge

      Determine the cause of death? How can you determine the Cause of Death when her boyfriend had her body cremated immediately upon receipt and then personally scattered the ashes to the winds?

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Jorge

      Her mother and aunt were very grateful to her Boyfriend, Anton Kline, when he offered to take care of all the funeral arrangements. He then had her body cremated and ashes scattered to the winds under the Hollywood Sign. No body to autopsy again and no ashes to analyze means there is NO evidence….hence, no evidence of a crime. LOL

      Reply

  2. Avatar

    Julia

    I believe someone killed her too.

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Julia Redmond

    I believe Crystal was murdered and the Anton guy covered it up. The autopsy was wrong too. It didn’t match her body. I hope the killer or killers get their day in court soon

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    Jorge

    Reply To Mark G.

    1. The Police NEVER ruled Crystal’s death a suicide! Where did you get that? Everyone who knew her knew for certain that she was looking forward to good things, including the purchase of a new car she had found! She was VERY excited about that.
    2. The Police still consider her death suspicious and thus have denied Anton access to confidential information. The Judge overseeing Anton’s claim ruled in favor of the Police. Anton claims a coverup, and wants the Truth. LOL
    3. Anton claims that she was murdered and that he is ONLY interested in knowing the Truth. LOL.
    4. Anton had her body Cremated and Ashes Scattered within two (2) weeks of her death….as soon as possible after her body had been released. He talked her mother and aunt into letting him take care of all the funeral arrangements (they were grateful), thus making sure any “evidence” related to her death via her remains would be destroyed! lol
    5. If a person is ONLY interested in the Truth as Anton claims, he would have made sure that any and ALL potential evidence of a murder would be preserved…..NOT destroyed by fire and flame and then scattered to the winds!!!
    6. After ALL the evidence of a possible murder had been destroyed by Anton, he continued to push the Police, via the courts and media, to continue a murder investigation.
    7. Why would Anton continue to push for a murder investigation, especially if he is a key potential suspect? With no body to re-examine for possible cause of death…such as poison…..and no ashes to analyse for metal toxins (poison), there is NO evidence of a murder, and hence NO justification for a murder investigation….the Perfect Crime. Yet, Anton persisted. Why?
    8. The “mysterious” death of Crystal Spencer was Anton’s Ticket to a renewed Hollywood writing career, which until now had gone nowhere. It was as dead as Crystal. With her death, he promoted himself to the entertainment industry and managed to get several shows produced concerning her “mysterious” death. He did this by creating the entire scenario, and producing a totally fictitious personna of who Crystal Spencer really was…and she bore virtually no resemblance to the subject portrayed on the programs, including her supposed Hollywood Dreams. LOL
    9. Mark G., still think that the people who consider Anton a major suspect in Crystal’s “mysterious” death stupid?
    10. It is possible that Crystal died a natural death….stroke, heart attack, embolism, although not the flu, since no flu or cold were going around the first week of May. Poisoning, however, more often than not produces symptoms similar to the flu. There was no evidence of a physical assault to explain the screams or moans heard by neighbors, but such could be caused by poisoning.
    11. With NO body to re-examine again, and NO ashes to analyze (thanks Anton), there is NO evidence of a murder, hence the Perfect Crime…unless a witness comes forward…………..

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Hebrew International

      Hi Jorge,

      I read on the Unsolved Mysteries wiki that the FBI had an open file about Crystal at the time of her death. Do you know anything about that? Do you know if that was related to her drug dealing? Unfortunately the wiki doesn’t give any details at all which is frustrating. Thanks for your input! Take care!

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Jorge

        I had never heard anything about the FBI & Crystal until the info appeared in print AFTER her death. If that were true, it might be related to the people she embraced that were familiar to the FBI. Crystal kept the company of some very unsavory-looking characters, and she herself was a drug dealer, fall-down drunk, and general mess…a dishonest, disorganized and irresponsible person, although she had a unique, “charming” sense of humor. Anton Kline’s depiction of her as this “wonderful” person who was embarrassed for having to work as a stripper and was trying to better herself and was going to be a great actress is pure BUNK. Anton made that all up to embellish his story, which was mostly FICTION, and this whole “mystery”. Crystal had NO commitment to becoming an actress. NONE! She was offered an opportunity to socialize with actors, actresses, writers, directors and producers living at the Toluca Hills Oakwood Apartment one Sunday, just a couple or so weeks before her death. The Studios used that facility as a “hotel” for their actors while filming. Any serious, wanna-be-actress would have taken the opportunity to mingle with these people. There were entertainment visitors there every week. Crystal instead downed two triple shots and quickly passed out at the pool. When she finally awakened, she was transported out of there with the assistance of others. She sobered up at home with the help of a friend who was interviewed and cleared by the police.

        Reply

      • Avatar

        Jorge

        The first time I heard about this was after her death, when it was reported in print and referenced by her boyfriend Anton Kline. As far as her knowledge of the gambling operations was concerned?
        Every stripper in town knew about that, so there is no reason why Crystal should have been targeted for her knowledge of that.

        Reply

  5. Avatar

    Mark G.

    The police rule it a suicide and are not interested in investigating it as a murder. The boyfriend continues to push and push for a murder investigation. And some people think he did it? Uhh, how stupid are you?

    Reply

  6. Avatar

    Linda Conlon

    i worked with Crystal at King Henry’s back in 1985….i was shocked and saddened when i saw this on Hard Copy in 1992 (i think)….yes, she was an alcoholic, but she was my friend, and she was funny and she was beautiful…. if she was murdered, her killer will have his Day of Judgement….. i miss you Crystal….
    Linda

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    Jorge

    To Anonymous……

    When you are dealing with an alcoholic, there is NO need to force anything down his/her throat. You simply poison their wine, or whatever their favorite beverage and they will do the rest. Then, if you don’t hear from them and their phone is busy, you call the phone company to see if the phone is off the hook. Told that the phone is off the hook, you do nothing until the police contact you.

    Reply

  8. Avatar

    Jorge

    Anonymous,
    Answers to your questions….
    1. Crystal was a “fall down drunk” who had to be totally sober at work and could NOT drink at work. By 2:00AM she had to have a serious drink, which she did by going to her boyfriend’s house, since no other drinks were available after 2:00 AM. Her boyfriend lived a short distance from her work on the way back home. She would return home to Burbank early in the mornings.
    2. Regarding sex and her boyfriend. Since she confided to friends that she suspected her boyfriend was GAY, sex was probably not a serious, if any, consideration in their relationship. She enjoyed the attention and being taken out. He was also a wannabe screenwriter hoping to hit it big, but unsuccessful at that time.
    3. May 3rd or 4th, she left a message on my machine that she was severely ill with the flu. Please note: THERE WAS NO FLU OR COLD GOING AROUND SOCAL AT THIS TIME. She sounded “deathly ill.”
    4. Her boyfriend claimed that he came over the next day, bringing her food & drink, and that she was feeling fine, “running around the apartment.” That can’t be true, and a few days later she was dead.
    5. Apartment: A Studio apartment on the second floor facing West, into the HOT setting sun. During the day she could have kept the sliding door open, but in the afternoon, she would have had to close the door and turn on the AC. After sunset, she could turn off the AC and reopen the sliding door. Question. How hot was her apartment when the decomposed body was found? If the sliding door was closed and the AC off, THAT would be suspicious, highly suspicious. Higher temperatures accelerate decomposition.
    6. Her boyfriend kept mentioning that she was found in an obscure corner of the apartment. She lived in a One-Room Studio. There was NO obscure corner. Every corner was just a typical corner.
    7. She was found wearing only a top, suggesting to some that she had been engaged in sex. Not necessarily. I’ve had a couple of girlfriends (dancers) who would go through my closet, find my newest, best shirt, and then wear only that around the apartment. Inadvertently, they would leave with the shirt. Girls do strange things. lol
    8. Crystal’s being wrapped in a telephone cord was suggested as evidence of foul play by her boyfriend. She was probably calling people for HELP because she was dying, getting wrapped up in the cord in the process, while suffering severe pain.
    9. Chronology of pain. a) On the 3rd or 4th she called people to say she was VERY sick with the flu, b) on the 4th she reached out to her sister seeking help, c) the following day or so some neighbors heard Moaning during the day, d) later other neighbors heard blood curdling screams during the night….and did NOTHING to help, not even call 911. Shame on them!!! Why? They were probably doing drugs and didn’t want to talk to the police.
    10. Since there was NO Flu going around, and there was no evidence of a physical assault, I can only see two (2) possibilities for her death: a) she died of unknown natural causes or b) she was murdered at a distance via poison, which could have been given to her via a bottle of wine, etc. The more she drank, the worse she felt, so she drank more, the worse she felt……until she was dead. Being poisoned is a very painful way to die. Screaming in pain would NOT be unusual.
    11. Her “boyfriend” made a series of absurd statements, too numerous to mention here. a) His failure to check on her by going back to her apartment when he didn’t hear from her…..b) his call to the phone company to see if her phone was OFF the hook…..c) failure to visit her or contact the the apartment manager after learning the phone was OFF the hook speaks volumes!!! What do you think?
    12. her mother and aunt were so grateful to her boyfriend when he offered to take care of ALL the final arrangements.
    13.Her boyfriend sued the police department demanding to know everything they knew. He failed. He claimed that “all he wanted was to Know the Truth.”
    14. Despite “wanting to know the truth,” her boyfriend a) had her body cremated and b) he scattered her ashes to the winds under the Hollywood sign.
    15. Are you starting to get the picture. There are many more details, that when considered, pretty well complete the picture. No body, no tissues, no ashes……..NO Evidence of a Murder. The Perfect Crime!!!

    Reply

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous

    Where are my comments? I have commented several times on multiple cases and they never publish in the pages. What’s going on with Unsolved? They are going to make people go elsewhere.

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous

    You know what’s interesting here? A lot of people are blaming the boyfriend of possible poisoning or other means, but how come more hasn’t been made of the screams heard in the night or the fact that she was found in a corner of the room, naked from the waist down? I would be lying if I didn’t say that it seems as though she may have had sex with her boyfriend who then could possibly have finished her off by forcing poison down her throat or other means, which is where the screaming came from. He may have tried to poison her before that night and that’s where the “flu” came from.

    Reply

  11. Avatar

    Dave

    To all the people that think they’re Sherlock Holmes. If the boyfriend murdered her or somehow involved, wouldn’t natural causes be the best thing for him? Murder isn’t suspected and basically he created the perfect crime. So if he did kill her why, why, why would he push for an investigation?? Common sense people! And the people that heard the screams and did nothing are just as guilty as the killer (assuming it was murder). I get not wanting to get involved, but ain’t nobody asking you to be Dirty Harry. You dial 911. You tell them you hear screams coming from (insert address here). And you’re done.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jorge

      Poison can be the means to a “perfect crime.” It is done from a distance. Anyone can do it. The killer provides the poison that she will consume completely…bottle of alcohol for an alcoholic will do…and leave. It is the favorite means for women and “non-violent type, ” intellectually inclined men.

      She consumes, becomes extremely ill, moaning during the day and screaming in pain during the night, because her alcohol, which she has been drinking steadily, is poisoned, and the poison is taking its toll on her organs. This is what several neighbors heard. So, who provided the poison? Her Lover NEVER mentions poison as the possible cause of death, but he immediately begins to accuse virtually EVERYONE under the sun, including the FBI and police…and all the way to Japan… of killing her. LOL

      Then you call to see if she is still alive. The phone is busy. The average person “assumes” the subject is on the phone and ignores the situation, but the lover would go to check on her since she has been ill. If he cannot do so, he will call the apartment manager to check on her. Her “lover” did NOT check on her in any way!

      The KILLER (poisoner) isn’t sure if she is on the phone or DEAD. Therefore, he calls the phone company to see if the person is on the phone or the phone is off the hook. Told that the phone is Off The Hook, he assumes she is dead and does nothing else until contacted by the police.

      The person who committed the “perfect crime” becomes obsessed with his work and also wants to know EVERYTHING the police know, going so far as to file suit for the information. The Obsessed, Planning Killer, always returns to the Scene of the Crime….over, and over and over. He is obsessed with his “work” and wants to know EVERYTHING the police know.

      The Lover/Murderer is Obsessed by the “cause of her death,” but then makes sure any remaining evidence is destroyed by 1) the cremation and 2) scattering any toxic-containing ashes to the winds. with NO remaining evidence of a murder…there is NO evidence of a murder!

      The Perfect Crime!

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Jorge

      On the surface, Crystal’s death appeared to be from natural causes, namely the flu. Everyone who knew Crystal received a call from her saying that she was very sick with the flu. When the police contacted Anton Kline, they told him they believed that she died from the flu.

      An innocent person who knew that she was ill from the flu, instead of being poisoned, would have accepted that finding as being reasonable and even probable, although unfortunate.

      Did Anton accept that as probable? NO! NO! NO!

      Anton immediately discarded that opinion and claimed that she was MURDERED! He then started accusing a slew of people as being the murderers. Strange, wouldn’t you say? Why would someone INSIST that she was murdered if all the evidence at the time pointed to Natural Causes….unless he knew something about her actual, true cause of death..,,.such as being poisoned?

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Dr.Horshenschwartz

        I was just thinking about this some more as we had just watched this episode on Amazon Prime. What was with the blonde friend. I nearly forgot about her. She seemed really messed up on drugs or maybe she witnessed the murder or knows something. There seemed to be something she was not saying in the interview.

        Reply

    • Avatar

      Mortuary Girl

      Hmm… Dave, you just wrote, “assuming it was murder,” and, “why would he push for an investigation,” in the same paragraph. If you’re not sure whether or not it was murder, why WOULD’NT he push for an investigation? That said, this whole, I-thought-she-just-jumped-on-a-plan-and-flew-halfway-around-the-world-without-so-much-as-a-buh-bye-phone-call is a mix of jaw dropping and laughable. Even in the episode, she made it clear she hadn’t heard back regarding this supposed job in Japan. Having been a funeral director in a previous lifetime I wondered: 1) Despite the coroner discouraging the viewing of the body at the corner’s facilities, why didn’t the family choose to view the body after the local mortuary picked up her remains? 2) In California, the cremation would need to be authorized by the immediate next of kin (likely, Crystal’s mother) unless an AHCD or DPOA for healthcare had been put in place, naming Kline specifically as primary agent, or, at that time, a pre need plan had been purchased, which would have included a cremation auth. Cremation is cheaper than burial, but the boyfriend (described on this site as a kosher Jew, and if true would not have approved of cremation) could have paid for a burial. Let’s not leave out the possibility of a personality disorder (psychopathy), which could explain a lot regarding Kline’s motive and behavior prior to and after Crystal’s death.

      Reply

  12. Avatar

    thinkingoutloud

    i feel that the boyfriend isn’t telling everything he knows or he’s lying. I think he truly loved Crystal but the second he found out her stripping, he didn’t fully accept it even though he said he did. i wouldn’t be surprised if he had any involvement with her murder. I’m wondering why he called 3 DAYS LATER to check in on his recovering girlfriend. and then he’s shocked when her phone was off the hook and he thought she ‘left without saying goodbye’?? Seems fishy he took so much time to check in. Anton and Crystal were from two very different worlds. maybe Anton wasn’t really happy with her job and it was affecting his image and rather than breaking it off, he had her murdered. weird they don’t mention if anyone in her apartment building was seen with crystal. shady, definately more to the story. RIP Crystal

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jorge

      Consider the following FACTS:
      1. Anton has made a big issue of her “Trip to Japan.” There never was a trip to Japan. Crystal attended an orientation for prospective models regarding hosting an event in Japan, if interested. She, like some of the others left her resume’. The Japanese agency passed on Crystal because she did not have the Bleach Blonde California Surfer Look needed for the hosting. Crystal was NEVER considered for a hosting job in Japan, nor any other!
      2. May 3 or 4th Crystal, sounding like someone near death, called people and said that she was “very ill with the Flu.” THERE WAS NO FLU GOING AROUND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AT THIS TIME. Whatever the cause for her being so ill, the Flu was most unlikely, if not impossible.
      3. Anton claimed that he brought her food the following day and that she was feeling better, running around the apartment. Crystal called her sister the following day claiming to be extremely ill and needing to speak with her mother. She was denied that opportunity. Question. How does one go from being deathly ill, barely able to speak one day to “running around the apartment” the next, to being deathly ill the day after again?
      4. Not having heard from Crystal, Anton called a few days later to check on her and found her phone “busy.” One can assume that she was on the phone. Concerned that maybe Crystal was NOT on the phone, Anton called the phone company…”to see if the phone was off the hook.” The phone company informed him that “the phone was off the hook”
      5. So, what does Anton, the Obsessed Lover of Crystal do? Knowing that she had been quite ill, and might have gotten worse and in need of assistance, and possibly in the hospital, unable to contact him, does he drive to her apartment to see if she needs help? Does he plan to have the apartment manager assist? NO!
      6. Anton, knowing that Crystal might be extremely ill, unable to help herself….and even possibly DEAD…. sits back and does NOTHING, until contacted by the Police.
      7. When questioned by the Police, Anton said that he had “simply assumed that Crystal SUDDENLY went to Japan without calling, and that he would hear back from her when she got to Japan.
      8. Question. How does anyone suddenly, on the spur of the moment, hop a plane to Japan for an extended
      job WITHOUT doing any of the following….while SICK with the Flu no less: a) Obtain a PASSPORT, b) Obtain necessary vaccinations/records for international travel, c) Notify apartment management of the pending trip, d) Notify the utilities companies, including the Phone company, e) Notify her employer that she’s leaving, for a specified time, f) Notify her friends and other frequent contacts, and g) Notify her Obsessed Lover of the great news?
      9. Although UNCONCERNED about Crystal’s illness, upon being notified by the Police of Crystal’s death, Anton suddenly becomes SUPER active, demanding her autopsy report and EVERYTHING the Police know about her death. He makes ABSURD claims that the wrong body was autopsied, that the body found in her apartment was NOT hers, that she had been kidnapped by the Japanese Mafia, KIlled by Japanese Gangsters, SoCal Gangsters, security guards at her work & even law enforcement and OTHERS! Wow!
      10. Anton continues to belittle the activities of all agencies/people associated with follow-up regarding Crystal, and harass Law Enforcement for all available information regarding her death, even filing suit! He continues these activities NOT for a few months, but for several YEARS thereafter! Why?
      11. Despite wanting ALL official information regarding Crystal’s death, Anton effectively ENDS any further investigation of her death…be it natural or homicide… with TWO actions: a). Anton has her BODY CREATED and b) Anton has her ASHES SCATTERED by the WINDS under the Hollywood sign….and Anton is the active Director/Producer of the event.
      12. If Crystal’s death were homicide, POISON is the most likely means: a) It can work slowly over time, putting distance between the victim and perpetrator. b) Any number of substances can be effective, from antifreeze, to arsenic, to rat poison (warfarin)…. bleeding to death internally…..the victim poisons herself….and Crystal was an alcoholic, often in a stupor, who “chugged” powerful drinks as if they were beer.
      13. But….WITHOUT a body to exhume or even ashes to analyze for metal toxins, because of cremation and ash scattering, a perpetrator, should there be one, is home free….the “perfect crime,” should there be one.
      14. Anton is/was a script- writer waiting for his big break, having worked on one previous script that aired on TV. After Crystal’s death, her story (mostly fiction created by Anton and presented as truth) was made into 4-5 TV specials through the efforts of Anton.
      15. The entire Relationship: Mature, sophisticated, Kosher Jewish Ph.D. candidate, writer, connoisseur of all things artistic…classical music, literature, history, art, museums, etc…. falls madly in love with a high school dropout Shiksa from the Other Side of the Tracks whose father died in prison and who herself lives in a filthy pig stye…and who is a hopeless alcoholic, drug addict and drug dealer to boot, not to mention topless and Nude Dancer…..is just too hard for me to swallow. I can just imagine what it would be like for a Jewish family member to hear that Anton was going to marry this girl……Anton had proposed to Crystal earlier.
      16. On top of that, Anton was a middle-aged man living in a house with another man! Crystal appreciated Anton’s attention….but she was concerned that Anton might be GAY!

      Reply

  13. Avatar

    Jorge

    There are a number of VERY troubling aspects in this scenario, whether Crystal died of natural causes or homicide that have NOT been discussed to date.

    BACKGROUND:

    1. Crystal left a message on my answering service on Tuesday May 3 or Wednesday May 4. I don’t recall exactly which because I had been in a very serious auto accident that previous Sunday night, May 1st. In the message Crystal stated that she was very sick with the flu and asked me to call if I wanted to talk. She sounded like she was on her deathbed, barely able to talk. She didn’t sound like she had the flu or cold, but like someone extremely ill. My auto accident (five-car pileup on Fwy 405) occurred in my brand new company car, and I had key business appointments the entire week, starting at 8:00 AM the following Monday. I couldn’t be bothered with anyone’s problems until I had resolved my own. Besides, Crystal had a boyfriend with whom she was in DAILY contact. Surely, she would contact him for conversation, if not for assistance.

    2. By Friday, May 6th, home-office day, accident related issues had cooled somewhat and I returned some belated calls, including Crystal’s. Her phone was busy, not unusual, since she spent hours talking on the phone. That evening I stopped by the Wild Goose to see how Crystal was doing. I didn’t see her and asked a waitress if Crystal was working that evening. She was, according to the waitress, but I was there for about an hour and a half and did not see her. I had assumed she left early and went to spend the night with her boyfriend. After work, Crystal always stopped at her boyfriend’s house for the night.

    3.On Friday May 13, 1988 I found a note on my doorknob from the BPD to call. There were Police cars across the street. I responded. My name was on Crystal’s rent application as a Reference…I was, “the ONLY one she knew who had a straight job”….., and they wanted to know what I knew. The meeting was an extended one and I will NOT discuss what transpired, because some of that might still be Classified.

    VERY TROUBLING ASPECTS OF THIS CASE

    1. Constant references are being made that Crystal had a job offer as a hostess in Japan and was worried about going there. FALSE….Totally FALSE. Crystal NEVER received any such offer. She had attended a presentation done for a group of interested actresses/models at Denny’s for a special trip to Japan to act as hostesses on a special project. Those girls who were interested were asked to leave their resume’s and they would be contacted if the agency was interested to pursue further. The Japanese agency was seeking the All-American California Surfer Type—long haired blonde, tall, long-legged and tanned. Crystal was 5’1”, dark haired and dark eyed, and somewhat Japanese looking. She was NEVER considered by the Japanese agency. ZIP! End of discussion.

    2. Crystal’s boyfriend Anton claims that during his visit on May 4, Crystal had the flu, but was up and about, running around. I wonder what medication did she take to make such a remarkable “recovery?” Her sister also stated that Crystal claimed to be severely ill and wanted to speak with her mother, on the same day Anton visited.

    3. Despite Crystal’s illness, and her phone being busy, her boyfriend didn’t bother to get into his car and drive to see if she was OK. Furthermore, he called the phone company about the busy phone. Why? He was told it was off the hook. Instead of being concerned about Crystal…she had been quite ill……he simply “assumed” she had left for Japan without telling him…….in spite of their “intense love affair.” Wow! I’m NOT implying that anything improper was done by Anton, but folks, the man was getting his PhD. Stupid he was not, or was he?

    THE REAL CRYSTAL SPENCER…….it’s not polite to disparage the dead, but the Truth is the Truth….

    1. The portrayal of Crystal in the TV specials, as presented by Anton was Pure Fiction. One of her fellow dancers told me that she would never believe anything she saw on TV again. Anton, a supposedly very intelligent writer, PhD candidate, lover of learning, history and the classical arts described Crystal as this endearing, unique woman who was not only going to be an actress, but a Great Actress. This from a very perceptive intellectual and judge of the human condition. LOL

    2. So, who was the Real Crystal Spencer who would drive this Intellectual of the Classic Arts and PhD candidate into near hysteria? Crystal came from “the other side of the tracks.” Her father died in prison. She dropped out of high school. She did filing for a living, as well as cleaning houses, although not her own. Crystal was a serious Alcoholic and Drug Addict.

    Crystal’s apartment was a Pig Stye. How any clean, intelligent person could tolerate being there is beyond me, much less a nice Kosher Jewish Boy, an Intellectual absorbed by the Classics and Intelligent conversation. Crystals apartment was strewn with discarded clothes, shoes, etc, from end to end. Uneaten food, papers, everywhere. Drawers were pulled open, with clothes hanging from them. The bathroom was a SHOCKER. The hand towels were filthy, appearing to have come from a mechanics restroom. The sink was more black than white. The countertop was covered in its entirety with makeup, half of it spilled all over the counter. The TOILET was the ultimate shocker. Upon lifting the seat, the entire bowl was covered in FECES, water line to the top! Crystal was an Alcoholic and Drug Addict of the worst sort.

    3. Crystal has been presented as an innocent, struggling in a “degrading” job in order to better herself, trying desperately to escape her condition. Crystal LOVED her job! The only thing she didn’t like was the requirement that she be sober on the job. Crystal was rarely sober, and being sober is what she did NOT like. Crystal was also a Drug Addict, but more than that Crystal was significant Drug Dealer as well.

    Comments have been presented that Crystal was embarrassed by her topless dancing. If I had boobs that drooped down to the waist like two rolls of film, I’d have been embarrassed too. How embarrassed was Crystal by dancing, not enough to keep from dancing Nude as well. Crystal did Nude Dance Contests. In one such event I witnessed, Crystal gave all of her personalized attention to a young Hollywood Leading Man sitting at the stage. Afterwards, Crystal went over to him, kissed him on the cheek and gave him her phone number. He never called.

    THE MOST BIZARRE ASPECT OF THE ENTIRE CASE…….THE RELATIONSHIP

    1. If Opposites Attract, this is one for Shakespeare. A middle-aged Kosher Jewish Intellectual lives with another man in a house in Play del Rey. His life is saturated by the best cultural entities available to man…..Classical Music, Art, Museums, Theatre, History, Literature, and the never-ending pursuit of knowledge and a terminal degree. He is immediately drawn to a high school dropout Shiksa who can’t stop drinking until she passes out, who has no concept of intellect at any level. Then there is her personal hygiene, organization skills , housekeeping and occupation. Anton has found his Muse. He is going to turn her into a Lady, and fellow lover of the arts. Hasn’t this movie been made…a couple of times.

    2. Crystal was most grateful for all the attention she got from Anton, especially his interest in marrying her. It was a possibility she had considered. She wasn’t getting any younger, and he was very CARING and Committed. There was only thing that bothered her; Crystal suspected that Anton might be GAY!

    HOW DID CRYSTAL DIE? WHAT CAUSED HER DEATH?

    1. Natural causes are a real possibility. She was an alcoholic and drug abuser. Her physical condition was very poor. Her irises looked like they belonged to a 100 year old, a very bad sign. Actually frightening. She was very ill the week of her demise, or so it appears. People in poor health do die from the flu. She could have died from organ failure. We’ll never know about that.

    2. Homicide is an equal probability. She could have been tortured and strangled. An even greater possibility is POISONING, assuming it was a homicide.

    Poisoning could explain the moaning that the neighbors heard during the night. It could also explain the supposed moaning that another tenet claimed to have heard during the day. Poison could have been introduced surreptitiously…and by virtually anyone wanting her dead, and there are a number of potential suspects: other drug users, other drug dealers, angry customers, jealous boyfriends, etc.

    WHAT’S MOST TROUBLING HERE?

    1. CREMATION of a body that might have been the result of homicide is UNFORGIVABLE!!!
    2. Who is the person among her contacts…family, lovers, friends, etc., who wanted her cremated?
    3. DISPOSING of the ASHES by scattering them to the winds is equally UNFORGIVABLE!!!
    4. A person poisoned by Arsenic can be determined as such as long as ashes are available. The metal Arsenic will be part of the ash and can be determined as to substance and quantity by chemical analysis. Trust me, I am a Graduate Chemist!

    Reply

  14. Avatar

    Mitzy

    The part where the neighbors talk and say that they didn’t call the police because they didn’t want to get involved makes me boiling mad! I hope that someday, somebody doesn’t want to get involved” when THEY need help!!

    Reply

  15. Avatar

    Justin

    Any update on the next airing date for this episode? I can’t find a schedule by episode.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      unsolved

      Hi Justin – this case is in episodes SP105 on Escape. The next scheduled airing is on December 19, 2016. Please check your local listings to confirm the time.

      Reply

  16. Avatar

    Annie

    Was the person that told Kline his girlfriend was an exotic dancer identified AND questioned?

    Reply

  17. Avatar

    Want to be anonymous

    I too think the boyfriend knows more than what he’s saying. Did anyone confirm the Japan trip? I don’t think crystal would have left without letting others know especially her boyfriend. Also was time of death accurate? Why didn’t boyfriend go to her apartment when he found out her phone was off the hook?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Anonymous

      Don’t act like a detective or if you know these people personally to make such a judgment, I doubt you have any skills in such things.

      Reply

  18. Avatar

    joey

    Any updates yet

    Reply

  19. Avatar

    Nancy C

    Does the reruns on tv have up to date statuses? I know the series ended in 1999. Pls help! I may have seen someone recently but need to know how up to date these reruns are kept. Thank you!

    Reply

  20. Avatar

    Joy

    Does anyone know what commercials Crystal was in?

    Reply

  21. Avatar

    Katy

    The “Crystal” Episode appeared on Lifetime HD 4-19-2016, at 5 am., on Direct TV. Does anyone know the specific city where she was born and also her age & birthdate?

    Reply

  22. Avatar

    Bill

    Any updates on when this episode SP 105 might air on Lifetime or Escape? It doesn’t look like the episode schedules or times have been update on the Facebook page. Thanks

    Reply

    • Avatar

      unsolved

      Hi Bill – the schedule for Lifetime typically updates on Fridays, and Escape updates once a month or so. Right now it looks like SP105 is scheduled for March 31, 2016 on Escape. Please check your local listings for the time.

      Reply

  23. Avatar

    Tommy B

    Is there anywhere online where this episode (S3E29-SP105) can be seen?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      unsolved

      Hi Tommy – unfortunately there hasn’t been a streaming service yet that wants to show the episodes, so for now they are only on TV on Lifetime and Escape.

      Reply

  24. Avatar

    Anonymous

    Do all of the people quoted in the story above appear on camera for interview in the episode?

    Reply

  25. Avatar

    Bill

    Thank you for your help. It appears that episode is not on any of the networks anytime soon. Is it available on a DVD or is there any other way to view it sooner? Can it be purchased? Thank you again.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      unsolved

      Unfortunately this segment is not currently available for purchase. Lifetime sends us new dates every week, so please check back and hopefully it will be on the list soon!

      Reply

  26. Avatar

    Bill

    Do you have a date for the airing and if it’s lifetime or Escape?

    Reply

  27. Avatar

    Anonymous

    What was the name of the unsolved mystery segment and can it be viewed anywhere?

    Reply

  28. Avatar

    Yvonne Waterloo

    I love you and miss you Crystal I think about you often.

    Reply

  29. Avatar

    Carissa

    I would like to know why Anton let so much time lapse between contact.
    Also if the body cremated was not Crystal’s then who did it belong to?
    Praying that this case gets solved.

    Reply

  30. Avatar

    Debbie

    Crystal was my best friend in grammer school. It upsets me every time I think about how botched the investigation went. This was foul play and sadly; justice for her untimely death most likely wont occur in this lifetime. However the person guilty of the crime wont forget what they did on that fateful day. That truth will never change and it always catches up to them, at some point.

    Reply

  31. Avatar

    Robbie

    What get me about this case is the police didn’t want to let anyone see her saying her body in four days was badly decompose. Second four months later the autopsy shows it wasn’t Crystal, her weight and height didn’t match. Third her boyfriend didn’t check on her for a week or maybe if I remember she suppose to had left to Japan? So the body was not Crystal then who was it and where is Crystal? All I can say a women with a name like Crystal, first three letters are CRY. The blood spilled will cry for justice. The boyfriend, police have a lot of questions to answer.

    Reply

  32. Avatar

    John Cain

    Strangled

    Reply

  33. Avatar

    Dahlia

    I believe someone killed her.

    Reply

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